Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 10th 2014 Contents A74
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, May 10, 2014
Francisco "Panchee|" Cruz, the Cuban-born coach
of this country s senior women s volleyball team and
veteran player Kelly-Anne Billingy have both
expressed their belief that T&T can qualify for a first
ever FIVB Women s World Championship carded for
Italy later this year.
But before, T&T reaches Italy, the reigning five-time
Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA)
champions and seventh NORCECA-ranked "Calypso
Spikers" will have to win their Third Round Norce-
ca Group Q four-team qualifying series in Havana,
Cuba, involving the host, Curacao and Haiti from
tomorrow to May 18.
The other third round women qualifying groups are
Group P (Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, El Salvador,
Guadeloupe) in Santo Domingo; Group O (USA, Pana-
ma, Guatemala, Honduras) in USA, both series from
Tuesday to May 19; Group S (Canada, Mexico, US
Virgin Islands and Jamaica) from Wednesday to May
120 in Canada and Group R (Puerto Rico, Costa Rica,
St Lucia, Barbados) from May 20-26 in Puerto Rico.
At the end of the five round-robin groups, each
group winner will qualify to the FIVB World Cham-
pionship while the second placed teams in each group
advances to the final qualification round in T&T at
the Jean Pierre Complex, Mucurapo from June 2-9.
Speaking at a press conference at the T&T Olympic
Committee House, Abercromby Street, Wednesday,
Cruz who has been at the helm of the women s team
for the past eight years was quick to note the tournament
in Cuba will be a very strong one, but at the sam time
acknowledged his team was ready for the challenges
"We will try our best and qualify from this phase
in Cuba because we feel in the fourth round playoffs
for the teams that finish second it will be much tougher.
However, Cruz noted that preparing the team for
the tournament like most in the past has been very
difficult due to a lack of training facilities and matches
while Cuba has had much better preparations.
He said, "Here at home we have to compete with
other activities for the use of the facilities to train, but
the same time, the Cuban team even though it is in
the rebuilding stage has been to training camps in
China and has their own facilities.
Despite the obstacles, Cruz was confident in his
team s chances adding that over the past eight years
the team has moved from being ranked 93rd in the
world to a current position of 31st.
Krystle Esdelle, who plays professionally with CSM
Bucuresti of Romania, is one of four European-based
players named in the 12-member team by Cruz.
The others are Channon Thompson (Evreux) and
Darlene Ramdin (Terville Florange) both in France and
Sinead Jack, of Russian club, Uralochka NTMK. The
local women will train today at the Southern Regional
Indoor Sports Arena, Pleasantville before departing
tomorrow for Cuba via Panama.
• T&T women's team: Rheeza Grant, Abby
Blackman, Rechez Lindsay, Channon Thompson,
Marisha Herbert, Courtnee-Mae Clifford, Renele
Ford, Jalicia Ross, Kelly-Anne Billingy, Darlene
Ramdin, Sinead Jack, Krystle Esdelle.
Cruz: We can
qualify in Cuba Peer Nasseir, from left, T&T Volleyball Federation (T&TVF) vice-president first
delegate, T&TVF president, Daymian Stewart, national women's team coach,
Cuban Francisco "Panchee" Cruz and David Thomas, national beach volleyball
coach David Thomas talk volleyball during a press conference at the T&T Olympic
Committee House, Abercromby Street, Wednesday. PHOTO: ANTHONY HARRIS
Hundreds of members of T&T s protective services
are expected to convene at the Police Academy bar-
racks in St James, today, when the Police Service
hosts its annual sports day, from 9.30 am.
Full representation is anticipated from the service s
nine divisions and 18 branches, all of which are carded
to vie for march past honours, while a host of novelty
events, such as tug o war will also be competed. The
event usually attracts scores of members of the Police
Service as well as their family and friends. Sports such
as football and track and field events have been chal-
lenged in the lead up.
Police hosts sports day today
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